metaphorliteral: (Default)
You were in my subconsciousness
deep as a fault line,
and with your absence comes a trembling
as the tectonic plates of what I know to be true
slide together uncomfortably
and set my whole mind shaking.

There's been an earthquake in my head
and it looks like the buildings are still standing
but everything's been structurally damaged--
there is no water running, no electricity,
nothing left to connect these disparate broken thoughts,
and the gas lines have all burst,
leaving some of them quite flammable to the smallest spark.

All these beautiful historic buildings,
all the architecture built in place on a foundation of love,
all the open windows looking into trashed rooms,
all the sturdy doorways opening onto rubble,
it'll all have to come down now,
razed to the ground once the aftershocks die down.

The tremors are still happening, though.
I can't do anything to rebuild until the ground quiets.
Perhaps the tectonic plates will settle
without the buffer you made between the jagged edges.
Fault lines don't just disappear,
but if I'm lucky this one will lie quiescent for the rest of my days.

Fidelity

Mar. 20th, 2014 04:46 pm
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
Call me pathetic,
maybe it's true--
This unswerving loyalty I hold for you
like a dog waiting for her long-gone master,
instincts drawn to the sound of your voice--
Call me and I'll come.
Call me from anywhere, I'll come.
Only call me, please, call my name
and I'll find you, if I know you want me,
if I'm not kicked to the curb
to roam the night like an unloved stray.
I was wanted, once--
You wanted me, once, kept me close,
said my name fondly, like it was precious to you.
I'm good enough to keep, aren't I?
Someone would take me in
but I'd just steal out and wander the streets
howling for the one I love--
the one who loved me once--
neither leashed nor collared but cherished all the same.
Let me be yours again, I swear I'll be good,
won't bite or growl, won't beg for petting,
just let me curl up at your feet,
let me guard your heart,
give me a place beside you to rest my head.
Put your name on my tag
so everyone can see where I belong,
so they know I'm always heading home.
There's no place I want to be but home--
at your side, at peace: home.
metaphorliteral: (Default)
This isn't good for either of us
but you're not the one being consumed.
You flare bright, shower sparks
and at your slightest touch I burn
and burn, and burn, and can't stop burning
and won't stop until there's nothing left of me
but smoke hanging heavy in the sky
and the burnt-out remains of what held me together.
This isn't good for either of us
but it's too late.
I know your touch.
The fire's already raging through me.
Maybe you'll recover, collect yourself,
maybe you'll delight different eyes,
but there is no after-you for me.
There's only this fire, until I'm burned up,
until you leave me ruined behind you.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
The last time I sat in a coffee house
--a real one, not Starbucks--
there was a promise hiding under my tongue
just waiting for you to walk through the door.
And it waited.
And waited.
And I drank macchiatos,
smiling awkwardly at the barista after my third,
and the caffeine went straight to my toes
which tap-tap-tapped
uncontrollably.
People came and went and they were not you.
The door opened and it was never you.
The barista started wiping down tables
and side-eyeing this lonely girl
and when I finally left, I left two things:
five dollars on the table
and an unspoken promise dropped on the floor
to be swept up with the rest of the dirt
brought in by shoes that weren't yours.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
I think we've got it backwards.
Summer days sweating to slow death
garlanded with roses,
making things grow just to have something to do.

Maybe she spends the summer
lost in her memories of his mouth,
the way he touches her,
the timbre of his voice as he calls her "my queen."

Maybe her mother's overbearing,
her friends don't get it,
other gods come knocking at her door
promising to show her a good time.

Maybe she spends weeks drying flowers
to bring him her scent
to tide him though the next interminable summer,
sleeping with his shirt tucked under her pillow.

Maybe she spends the dog days waiting for that first ripe pomegranate--
swallowing seeds in her haste to taste more
and greeting him at the top of the staircase with lips stained red
and half the fruit still in her left hand.

Maybe she gets the best of it--
strawberries and thunderstorms
and leaves the harvest to other hands
as he leads her into the underworld.

Let Demeter reap corn and shovel snow
while Persephone is benevolent to the dead,
blooming below the earth,
warm in his arms through the all-too-brief winter.

palmistry

Jun. 26th, 2012 04:36 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
I can't predict the future--
not really, for all my playing
with tarot cards and prescient dreams--
and it's silly to think that anyone
can tell what the years may hold
before they come to pass.
That being said, I had my palm read last summer,
and she told me that the person I'm meant to love
was the one I was holding at arm's length.
But I was doing that with both of you--
one in fear of the post-grad breakup I saw as inevitable,
one in fear of rejection that also seemed inevitable.
So I took her advice to heart
and pulled you both closer
hoping against hope that my heart would sort it out.
It's silly to put faith in fortune-telling,
but I've done sillier things for much less reward
and risking it all for heart's desire isn't so silly, is it?

words

Jun. 25th, 2012 10:42 pm
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
One day I'll find the words I need.
The ones I have now are fumbling,
approximations, not quite right.
One day I'll be fluent in the language of love.
Until then, I have these words:
deeply, fully, truly, more than I can say,
passionately, all-encompassingly,
overwhelmingly, obsessively,
very very much, a lot, greatly,
like crazy, painfully, wildly,
for so long, more than there are stars,
more than anything at all.

Soon I won't need the words of missing,
but I'll never stop working on the words of love.

compersion

Jun. 25th, 2012 10:31 pm
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
I've never been a jealous person,
not when it comes to relationships, anyways.
I like love to be shared, not hoarded,
but I never had that put to the test.
Maybe it'd be different if it had been anyone else,
but I don't know-- I wanted the right ones.
When I got to see my two favorite people
share their first kiss, I wanted to cheer,
knowing that love had just been multiplied--
not to mention it was the sweetest thing to witness.
I love to watch my lovers loving each other,
feeling joy rise within me that we're together,
that I get to share in this glorious mess,
that we'll make this work for the three of us.

Limerence

Jun. 25th, 2012 10:14 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
I don't have to put it in words again.
I spelled it out quite clearly the first time:
I love you more than I know how to bear,
and perhaps I can't-- not gracefully, at least.
How many times did I resort to tears?
(But never in your presence, oh no,
I did my hardest work trying not to manipulate you.)
How many times did I lie awake all night,
failing to put thoughts of you from my mind?
How many times did my opinion of myself fall,
thinking that I should be stronger,
that I should be able to content myself with platonic love?

I wish I'd known this word a year ago,
wish I'd known I could put a name to my feelings.
Would it have helped me to see it defined--
intrusive thinking, need for reciprocation,
fear of rejection paired with hope--
or would it have made no difference at all?

I'll never know, having resolved it before naming it.
I'll never know, and never need to know,
now that you've given me what I needed so badly,
now that you've dispelled my fears.
I'm limerent no longer-- I've become beloved,
and now, perhaps, I'll find I can be graceful,
bearing up under the (much-lightened) burden of love.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
I can't get the thought of you out of my head,
the thought of you and I together.

Can't forget the way my breath speeds up
to match each of you in turn
in the moments before sleep.

Can't ignore how my hands ache
to hold yours
anytime they're empty.

Can't stop thinking about the warmth
in the safe place
between you.

Can't stop daydreaming our reunion,
the relief that will flood me
back in a three-sided hug.

I know I have to be patient,
and I'm trying my best,
but these thoughts get the better of me
when I'm missing you already.

The summer's not going to be so long--
I keep telling myself, anyways.
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
Something golden-sweet
tantalizes my tongue.
Did I imagine it?
A taste of honey...

Golden as summer sunlight
and sweet as you, my love,
dripping slowly off the spoon
before I stir it into tea.

Once upon a time, this
was the most sweetness
anyone would ever get:
a taste of honey.

Now we've got cane sugar
and high fructose corn syrup
but this is still the best--
licking one sweet drop from your skin.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
Sirens!

SO many sirens---

a veritable symphony of sirens in alternating tones!

Two fire trucks-- and a third--

an ambulance lagging behind, slow and heavy

and policecarspolicecarspolicecars speeding by in a flock

and finally one single pizza delivery car going silently by
crossing a taxi silently and going on its way.

without you

Jun. 2nd, 2012 09:33 pm
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
My heart is not broken, merely obscured:
a full moon behind heavy rain clouds.
It's whole and radiant and removed from me,
shining brightly over the Pacific
and casting light on the Finger Lakes
but unseen from the Atlantic and the Hudson River.

My heart still beats, but quietly:
songs of joy muted to distant humming.
The melody still rings true, but in one part,
without the alto to harmonize,
missing the baritone counterpoint,
just a reedy soprano carrying a third of the tune.

My heart is waiting patiently:
a calendar with one red-letter day.
Days go by, crossed out one by one,
made bearable by letters signed "Yours,"
and never-long-enough phone calls,
coming slowly closer to the moment we'll meet again.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
My ship has come in
after I spent so long in my lighthouse
guiding it safely to shore.
For all those nights I blinked my light
hoping you'd see and understand
a message of hope--
and then-- sails on the horizon
steadily approaching my quiet beach.
I didn't sit here waiting.
It's hard work to run a lighthouse
but it's vital--
maybe I saved your life with my beacon.

Maybe I saved my own.

Come into my harbor, where I wait on the dock--
throw me a rope, let me secure you here.
Show me what you brought from distant lands,
unload your burdens.

Stay here a while
and write your name on the white sand beach
in stones and shells that will stay
long after the day you sail away.

untitled 3

May. 14th, 2012 06:17 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
You disarm me.
For you, I'll bare my throat.
For you, I'll submit.
For you, I'll show my vulnerabilities
and beg you to take advantage of them
shivering under your fingertips when you do.
For you and no one else
I will lay down in your arms
and close my eyes, and sleep.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
Lay them out carefully:
here, the Queen of Cups
covered by the Knight of Wands,
crossed by the King of Swords.

You are an emotional dreamer.

Beware a young person with a temper
and an intellectual man.

In the past, the Three of Cups,
and the future is Temperance.

Your days of happiness are behind you.
Perhaps you can try to salvage some scraps.

Above, in favor, the Lovers,
below, the Two of Swords.

Soon you will be required to make a choice--
or perhaps you can try to combine the options,
take a little bit of everything,
stack the deck in your favor.

Seek balance. Weigh your choices.
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
There's nothing pure about me.
I'm a gleeful criminal,
a shameless deviant,
proud of my abnormality.
I disrespect laws
and codes of conduct
in search of excitement
and personal truth.
Not only do I do these things,
but I like to talk others
into my favorite transgressions.
"Trust me. I do this all the time."
"You don't have to... but think about it."
"I promise you'll enjoy this."
Sometimes it doesn't take much,
a slight nudge, a few convincing words:
a new partner in crime.
Other people require more work,
a cost-benefit analysis,
testimonials of prior escapades,
precautions against repercussions.
Still, it's more fun being bad
when I'm sharing it with someone,
being a bad influence on behavior,
and anyways,
my favorite transgressions
are the ones I can't do alone.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
My body isn't traitorous enough
to be uncomfortable when yours
is resting on it.
I can (and have) been
your pillow for hours on end
without a single nerve cell
falling asleep.
How could I waste
a moment of contact
when I count every embrace
as dear as I do?
No, I stay aware,
pacing my breath to yours,
trying to memorize this feeling
of sweet contentment.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
Circling like the hawks above the wood
Taking a long view on our little gyres
The places our spirals kiss and spin apart
The ambit of my life brushing yours
Wingtips caressing as we pass each other by
Let me catch your updraft and follow you higher
Sync up our circles, chase you upwards
Taste the sky in your wake
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
hands entwined
let me lead you down empty corridors
peek into rooms filled with antiquities
show you the truth behind rumors
pick the locks and discover treasures
delighted by what we find
let's throw these doors open
shine our flashlights into corners
walk boldly through these hidden places
go places maybe we shouldn't go
satisfy our curiosity if we can
if you think we can
I don't think we can
but let's try anyways
together

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